Upton Methodist Church

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Celebrating 150 years of praise!

150 years of praise

We celebrated our 150th Anniversary over the weekend of 13th/14th June 2015 with bunting and banners. The event was combined with a Gift Day for our new extension and a donation to The Karibuni Trust (supporting Kenyan street children) with which our members have been actively involved.

After weeks of planning and organisation the weekend proved to be a joyous occasion with bright sunshine. Invitations had been sent to all known to have had contact with the church over the past 50 years. There was a tremendous response and folk came from far and wide, including our own ex-ministers and local ministers of all denominations. There was much meeting, greeting and renewing of old friendships; people had so much news to tell and memories to share, the whole place was a-buzz!

Upton Methodist Wesleyan chapel architecture
This distinctive Wesleyan chapel building
has housed our congregation since 1865
Rev. Richard Clarke at Upton Methodist Church 150th Anniversary
Ex-minister Rev. Richard Clarke
with his portrait by our Art Group

There was plenty to see on the Saturday morning: a comprehensive display of the church's history and events from archived material, photographs and memories written by members of the congregation showed how the church has changed and developed over the years. To complement this exhibition the Art Group had depicted life in the church over 60+ years in paint and collage and a booklet, “Looking Back – Moving Forward”, had been produced for everyone. Even the church Pre-School children were involved, singing their favourite choruses.

Upton Methodist Church 150th Anniversary exhibition
Visitors browsing our exhibition
Upton Methodist Church 150th Aniversary activities Upton Methodist Pre-School at 150th Anniversary
Our Pre-School taking part
Fun outdoors in the sun

On Sunday morning the church was overflowing for the uplifting celebration service led by Rev. Elizabeth Rundle, with many members taking part in readings and prayers. Our church choir performed John Rutter's anthem “For the beauty of the earth”, while the singing of the children in our Big Bug Club and the worship band added to the “joyful noise”! There was more opportunity for fellowship and perusal of the exhibition over coffee and the weekend concluded with a large buffet lunch in the church garden.

Upton Methodist Church 150th Anniversary choir
The choir in full song
Upton Methodist Church 150th Anniversary buffet lunch Upton Methodist Church 150th Anniversary cake

The whole weekend was a memorable event and we are grateful that so many people came together to make it so. As Rev. Elizabeth Rundle summed up for us: “There's a spirit in the air at Upton. Catch the vision; hold the dream.”

Freda Berridge
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